Stolen Password

Despite the rapid shift from offline to online commerce, and more recently from desktop to mobile ecommerce, identity verification technology has not kept pace. The entire house of cards for every online transaction is based, at best, on the strength of a user password to validate identity. Given the countless corporate breaches in the last year alone, which have compromised tens of millions of consumer passwords, including those by LinkedIn and eHarmony, it’s hard to argue that the current system is effective.

Two-year-old startup Jumio, which is backed by $32 million from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Andreessen Horowitz, and Citi Ventures, has been leading the development of online verification and mobile payments technology to combat this vulnerability.

Jumio offers two solutions, Netswipe and Netverify. Netswipe allows consumers to scan and validate their credit card using a smartphone camera, eliminating the need for error-prone manual key entry. The result is a more convenient experience for consumers, and greater conversion rates for Jumio’s ecommerce clients. Jumio claims that the service reduces the average checkout process from 60 seconds to 5 seconds, and results in a 20 percent increase in conversion rates.

Using a similar technology and process, Netverify allows enterprises like banks, brokerages, gambling houses, and stores processing large payments to verify the identity of customers from over 60 countries through a visual scan of the user’s ID card. Jumio CMO Marc Barach tells us that the Netverify product, which is currently desktop Web only, will be coming to the mobile in the first quarter of next year.

Today, Jumio is announcing the addition of 20 new startup clients in the US and Europe, each of which have integrated its security products, joining existing larger clients, including Travelocity, Western Union, and the Hotel Deals by LastMinute.com app.

New customers utilizing Jumio Netverify include:

  • Allied Financial Strategies, a financial planner and reseller of financial services (will also be utilizing Jumio Netswipe Mobile)
  • BAM Software and Services, which develops and supports a full-featured software platform for pari-mutuel wagering and competitive games
  • Eborhood, offering a safer way to trade goods and services online
  • Skimm, a mobile payment solution startup
  • SkinPond, a cosmetic & plastic surgery coupon/raffle site
  • Travel Googan, a site that provides travelers with ultimate travel deals and discounts
  • Yobetit, the world’s first arbitrage bookmaker
  • Youwin, a global online gambling platform

New customers implementing Netswipe include:

  • Drinksquare, an app to share, rate, buy and offer any kind of drinks – wherever you are
  • EntroPay (Ixaris), a global payment network
  • Ever Adventure, a social gambling platform
  • FoodRun, online and mobile food ordering, offering a better way to order takeout
  • GB Premium Financial Services, a financial planner and reseller of services
  • Gyft, a digital card platform that enables consumers to manage gift cards
  • GoPago, an integrated point of sale and mobile payment application that provides merchants a total business solution
  • HaulerDeals, a social e-commerce website incorporating VIP access to the top fashion and beauty gurus of YouTube along with great fashion deals
  • InstaArt Studio, which offers high-quality canvas printing services
  • Protean, a multi-purpose credit offering
  • Wallaby Financial Inc., a cloud-based smart wallet
  • WorkoutInbox, offering crossfit workout tracking and member management software

Before the existence of the Netverify technology, most “secure” transactions of this type involved faxing a copy of a user’s ID card to the company, a method which Jumio claims cost on the order of $25 per transaction to process.

Partners using Netswipe and Netverify get access to the Jumio SDKs for free as well as support in integrating the services into their product, which typically takes one to two days. Pricing is based on a per scan basis, with the base price for Netswipe and Netverify being $0.15 and $3.00 per scan respectively, and companies able to achieve volume based discounts.

Within both of these two products, Jumio offers far more than optical character recognition (OCR), instead verifying the validity of each card through advanced image analysis. What the company cannot yet confirm is that the person holding the card is in fact its owner. This means that Jumio is able to guard against the far more common problem of stolen identities, but not the less prevalent one of stolen wallets. Absent some biometric scanning component, any other identity verification company will face the same limitations.

As we each spend increasing amounts of time online, and direct increasing percentages of our shopping dollars through virtual channels, it is incumbent on consumers to demand that the businesses they deal with implement identity verification and protection technology. Given Jumio’s head start in this market, and its roster of A-list investors, it’s likely that Netverify and Netswipe will continue to be the default choice.